The numbers come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and looked at 9,000 people.
The research followed all races of men from the time they were 12-16 years old until they were adults.
The findings say 49% of black men had been arrested by the time they were 23. Hispanic men were next with a 44% arrest rate. 38% of white men reported they had spent time behind bars.
The crimes covered everything from assault to underage drinking with minor traffic arrests not factored in.
The numbers told a very different story when it came to women.
20% of white females say they had been in the pokey by age 23. Hispanic women were next at 18% and black women third at 16%.
The Wall Street Journal notes not all of the arrests led to convictions.
Robert Brame co-authored the study.
“There are a lot of kids who are leaving adolescence and entering adulthood who will have to confront their criminal history.”
The criminal justice professor at the University of South Carolina, Columbia warned “these problems are likely to reverberate long down the life course."
Brame says young people don’t think about their records following them into job interviews and loan applications.